ASU to bring Harlem Dance Ensemble to town

Photo by Special Photo by Rachel Neville

Photo by Special Photo by Rachel Neville

ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany State University officials announced Wednesday that the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the university a $10,000 grant to bring the Dance Theater of Harlem Ensemble to the Albany Municipal Auditorium on Feb. 1.

ASU is one of 1,057 not-for-profit organizations recommended for a grant as part of the federal agency's first round of Fiscal Year 2011 grants. In total, the NEA will distribute more than $26 million to support projects nationwide.

"I continue to be impressed by the creative, innovative and excellent projects brought forth by arts organizations across the country," NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said. "Our grantees are not only furthering their art forms but also enhancing their neighborhoods by making them more vibrant, livable and fun."

The ensemble's appearance is part of the 2010-11 ASU Department of Fine Arts and Lyceum Performance Series. The ensemble will present a lecture/demonstration for area college, high school and dance studio students from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 1. The lecture/demonstration is free.

At 7:30 p.m. that day, the ensemble will present an interactive performance at the auditorium. Tickets for the for the performance range from $5 to $20. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday at the Albany Civic Center box office.

The $10,000 grant is one of two that the NEA has awarded to an Albany organization. The Albany Symphony Orchestra has received one to help fund its Celebration Concert next summer.

"Albany is the central city for this overwhelmingly rural and economically challenged area of the state," said Leroy Bynum, dean of the ASU College of Arts and Humanities. "Over three hours from Atlanta and at least two hours from any other large city with an active artistic/cultural life, citizens from Albany and the surrounding area are limited geographically from being able to attend these kind of cultural offerings, and the vast majority are also unable to afford the price for tickets to such offerings.

"The DTH Ensemble's performance in Albany will expose Southwest Georgia citizens of all ethnicities, ages and economic strata to the art of dance by an internationally acclaimed dance company. With ticket prices beginning at just $5, ASU's Lyceum Committee -- with support from the NEA -- has made this event affordable to all citizens of the region."